|[January 16, 2013]
DTRA Awards US$3.3M Contract to PsiOxus Therapeutics to Develop Biodefence Vaccine Adjuvants
OXFORD, England --(Business Wire)--
Therapeutics, Ltd. (PsiOxus), a development stage
biotechnology company, today announced the award of a US$3.3 million
contract from the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to develop
biodefence vaccine adjuvants using the company's proprietary PolyMAP
technology to help improve the safety and efficacy of two vaccines
candidates: the recombinant Protective Antigen (rPA) for Anthrax and the
Venezuelan Equine Encephalopathy Virus (VEEV). PolyMAP is an
immunotherapeutic platform that combines polymers with synthetic
adjuvants to significantly enhance the effectiveness of vaccines.
"We are honoured to have received this contract from the DTRA and
excited at the prospect of helping to improve the safety and efficacy of
these two very important vaccine candidates using the PolyMAP
technology," said Dr. John Beadle, CEO of PsiOxus Therapeutics.
"Adjuvant platforms are key to innovating and growing the global vaccine
market, and we are confident that our immunotherapeutic platform
PolyMAP, along with our oncolytic vaccines expertise and team of
renowned scientists, will play a significant and long-term role in the
future of the industry."
The contract will support work over a three-year period in the US, as
well as in the company's new state-of-the-art laboratory in Oxford,
which has been designed and equipped as a category two laboratory for
the handling of live viruses.
The global market for Human Vaccines is forecast to reach US$32.21
billion by the year 2017 1, with key factors such as the
growing pediatric population, world travel, and addiction driving market
growth. The potential for ignificant growth and uptake of therapeutic
vaccines is expected to further add to this significant growth potential
in the longer term.
The PolyMAP Technology
Toll-like receptors (TRLs) function as first responders to danger
signals and are significant to combat infectious and inflammatory
disease. Identifying specific TLR ligands and binding them with a
specific vaccine antigen enables the shaping of the immune outcome and
provides a means of tuning vaccine formulations. While small synthetic
TLR agonists are relatively inexpensive and simple to manufacture, they
poorly reproduce the essential 'pattern' component of the larger natural
The PolyMAP platform technology allows for the development of fully
synthetic adjuvants using polymers to present adjuvant sub-units in a
natural pattern, thus making them much more potent. By adjusting the
specific TLR receptor classes targeted by PolyMAP, it is further
possible to maintain this adjuvant potency but reduce the unwanted
toxicities of the non-specific non-synthetic adjuvants. The platform's
key properties - increased receptor avidity through cooperative,
multi-valent interactions, clustering of receptors through cross-linking
and the improved solubility of TLR ligands that are otherwise difficult
to use in their free form - make the PolyMAP technology unique and
promising for enhanced adjuvant activity and safety.
About the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
DTRA safeguards America's interests from weapons of mass destruction
(chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high explosives) by
controlling and reducing the threat to the United States and its allies,
and providing quality tools and services for the warfighter. This
Department of Defense combat support agency is located at Fort Belvoir,
Va., and operates field offices worldwide.
About PsiOxus Therapeutics, Ltd.
PsiOxus Therapeutics is an Oxford, UK-based development stage
biotechnology company using non-traditional approaches to develop novel
therapeutics that address cancer and other clinically unmet diseases.
ColoAd1 is an oncolytic vaccine for the systemic treatment of metastatic
cancer, which has demonstrated exceptional anti-cancer properties in
late pre-clinical development and is now in phase I clinical
development. MT-102 is a dual action Anabolic Catabolic Transforming
Agent (ACTA) in phase II clinical development for the treatment of
cachexia and sarcopenia. The Company is also developing treatments based
upon the research phase vaccine platform PolySTAR, which combines
recombinant viral vectors with polymers to shield them from the immune
system, and the research phase adjuvant and immunotherapeutic platform
PolyMAP, which combines polymers with synthetic adjuvants to
significantly enhance the effectiveness of vaccines.
Dr. John Beadle is CEO of PsiOxus. Dr. Beadle was previously a
co-founder of PowderMed, which was sold to Pfizer, Inc. for more than
$300 million in 2006. Dr. Michael Moore, the former CEO of Piramed,
which was acquired by Roche in 2008, serves as Chairman of the Board of
Directors. PsiOxus is advised by a distinguished Scientific Advisory
Board that includes Prof Len Seymour (Chair of Gene Medicine at Oxford
University and Secretary General of the European Society for Gene and
Stem Cell Therapy), Dr Kerry Fisher (an internationally-recognized
specialist in molecular medicine, also of Oxford University), Prof
Andrew Coats (Norwich Research Park Professor-at-Large, University of
East Anglia), and Prof Stefan Anker (Professor of Cardiology and
Cachexia Research at Charité Medical School, Berlin and President of the
Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Diseases).
1 Global Industry Analysts, Inc.," Human Vaccines - A Global
Strategic Report", http://www.strategyr.com/Human_Vaccines_Market_Report.asp
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